7 Ways to Get A Good Night’s Sleep
I’ve always been a great sleeper. I’ve never had a problem falling asleep nor getting a good night’s sleep; that is until I had my first child! My first son, Timothy was born six years ago; and let me tell you, becoming a mother has completely changed my sleeping patterns. I can definitely relate now with clients, friends, and family who’ve complained to me about their difficulty with getting a good night’s sleep.
When I got pregnant with my twins; a whole new slew of dozing woes (nausea, rib pain, heartburn, restroom use, etc.) hit me. Timothy was finally sleeping through the night (I was a big co-sleeper and it took me a while) then I began waking up from being pregnant. I’m sure lots of expecting moms can relate.
Now the twins are almost four; and I was doing quite well with sleeping through the night again, well until the pandemic hit. Wow, that can really disrupt a good night’s rest. I worry about the country, I want my kids to stay safe, our finances have changed, there is so much anxiety and stress right now; both of which are both known to put a huge damper on sleep.
Some Tips & Tricks
- Stick with the same schedule: This holds true for getting my sons on track as well as for me to stay sane and sleep well. If you go to bed around the same time and wake up around the same time most days, you will notice how your body gets into the perfect rhythm and you sleep like a baby. Even on the weekends, try not to stay up way too late or sleep in too late. Of course, there will be the rare occasion when it’s perfectly normal to (weddings, once in a lifetime travel experiences, etc.) but for the most part, when you’re home, try and set a nice, natural schedule and stick with it.
- Keep the room nice and cool and as dark as you can: I love to snuggle under my covers at night. If the room is kept around 67 degrees, it’s the perfect temperature for a good night’s rest. If you’re too hot you wake up in a pool of sweat which is never fun; and if you’re too cold, your body can’t relax enough. I love ceiling fans for providing a light breeze and acting as a natural noise machine.
Some More Tips
- Invest in a good pillow: This is a must! You have to find the right pillow for you. If you like a sturdy pillow, or a soft pillow, a silk pillowcase, or an organic cotton one, you need to create the coziest bed you can. Get some good pillows, your favorite sheets, and also spritz some lavender or any sleepy time scent that creates a sleep sanctuary.
- Exercise daily: If you move your body throughout the day, you are more apt to sleep well at night. I notice this even with my kids on the days they are super active, they sleep great! Many pregnant women worry about exercising during pregnancy; and yet they shouldn’t. Exercise is wonderful for expecting women and as long as you listen to your body. Don’t push it too hard (this holds true for everyone) you are fine.
- Have a nighttime ritual: I personally like to snuggle with my sons then let them fall asleep, then I do my last minute assignments, power off all electronics (a must at least an hour before bed or else your brain will be too stimulated), brush my teeth, wash my face, do a gentle nighttime yoga stretching routine, write down three things I’m grateful for and go straight to bed (or have sex and then go straight to bed!).
- Eat a small snack if hungry but drink your fluids earlier in the evening and keep alcohol to a minimum: I’ve found what works best when pregnant and not pregnant is to eat smaller meals more frequently. I have a nice, healthy dinner and then around 9 pm or about a half-hour or hour before bed, I have a small snack. Greek yogurt with berries, a banana and some nut butter or cottage cheese and sliced peaches or strawberries is a great snack. I try not to drink too much before bed or else I’m up using the restroom all night. If you are going to have alcohol, keep it to one drink and at least three hours before you want to go to bed. Alcohol may help you fall asleep; but once it wears off, your body actually gets aroused.
- MEDITATE: I do a nightly meditation (and a morning one) before I go to sleep. Meditation helps to quiet the mind and it has been shown to help people fall asleep easier and to get a more quality night’s rest. I love the sleep meditations on Peloton but even just watching your breath with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest is quite helpful.
Try some Bedtime Yoga poses:
Here is my favorite go-to flow before I go to bed:
Bedtime Yoga Poses
And, if you’re not doing yoga find something to do that will tell your brain and body it’s time for bed. Read a book, write in your journal, meditate or make a gratitude list.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!